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Debunking claims and prioritizing public health: India’s bold stand against tobacco imagery on OTT platforms

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-14, 09:52 authored by Sonu GoelSonu Goel, Srishti Nawani

India has taken a ground‑breaking step in public health by mandating anti‑tobacco warnings and disclaimers on over‑the‑top (OTT) platforms. Concerns over the prevalence of tobacco imagery in media, including OTT platforms, prompted this decision due to its role in normalizing and glamorizing smoking, particularly among the youth. The Indian government aims to comprehensively address this issue and protect public health. This article reviews recent news articles on the developments in the 2023 amendments to Cigarette and other tobacco products act COTPA 2004 and relevant studies on the ill effects of tobacco imagery to form the viewpoint. To effectively implement the new order, clear guidelines, and standards need to be established. Additionally, comprehensive awareness and education campaigns should be launched, while strict monitoring and enforcement mechanisms must be implemented. Supporting research initiatives should evaluate the impact of the warnings, and multiple stakeholders should be involved in the decision‑making process. India’s commitment to protecting public health and curbing tobacco advertisements on OTT platforms necessitates clear guidelines, awareness campaigns, monitoring and enforcement mechanisms, research initiatives, and stakeholder engagement. This government order aligns with international public health frameworks and can serve as a precedent for other countries. By implementing these measures, we can counter the normalization and glamorization of tobacco use and create a healthier future.



Indian Journal of Community Medicine 48(6), pp. 811-813


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